Eight at eight dating
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She says business is booming, although she won't discuss profits.Members of the club pay $150 to $250 per year, depending on the city, and pay for their own meals.
Although people may not be meeting as many potential mates as when they were younger and in school, they have plenty of options -- online dating, matchmaking services, activity clubs targeting singles -- if they are looking for love, she said."If you're 35 and single, you're not the only one," she said.Eight at Eight started in Atlanta in 1998 and opened in Dallas in 2000.It also operates in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas and has about 1,500 members nationwide.Owner Sarah Kathryn Smith, who bought the dating service from a family friend a few months after it started, plans to open franchises in 25 more cities by the end of next year.Others are struggling to get back into the dating scene after a divorce or breakup.Most are tired of bars and don't feel comfortable looking for love at church or the office."It's not hard to meet people, but sometimes it's hard to meet quality people," said Messina, 28, a speech pathologist from Baton Rouge, La., who moved to Dallas three years ago.
"Being so busy with work, you get into your routine, and this is a great way to meet people."Dating services, once considered a last resort for losers, have lost their stigma, said Patti Feinstein, a Chicago dating coach.
As Americans are waiting longer to get married, the pool of singles has swelled the last two decades.
sharp, men and women file into the restaurant, looking for their names on place cards at a table in the corner. Sampling exquisite cuisine and fine wine, they chat about their jobs and laugh about the idiosyncrasies of their hometowns.
They are attractive and well-heeled, career-oriented and single. The Eight at Eight Dinner Club, one of a growing number of dating services, caters to a more affluent clientele.
The idea is to seat four men and four women informally at an upscale restaurant. If not, at least it was a good meal and a few laughs."You have an opportunity to meet both men and women to make friends with, without the pressure of a one-on-one date," said Oria Messina, who recently attended a dinner at Cafe Madrid in Dallas.
Some singles are new to town and want to meet same-sex friends.